Shooting great night photography means applying the same attention to light and photo composition as you do in daylight. In fact, you’ll find that most night photography tips are just as relevant for photographers during the day.
Nevertheless, before you head out into the night, it will pay dividends and save you time if you plan ahead. For instance, pick some good photo locations beforehand by scouting out local spots that have interesting lights and architecture. Or if you’re looking to shoot light trails, check which roads are busiest and when is the best time for traffic.
Likewise, if you’re shooting low-light seascapes or landscapes, arrive at your location with plenty of time to set up. The best photographers know that you’ll get better pictures when there’s still some light and colour left in the sky.
This is also particularly true of floodlit buildings. The architectural photographer will know that his or her pictures will be more interesting – and exposures easier – if the brightness of the sky and that of subjects lit by artificial light are balanced.
Finally, for the best results, shoot in raw format. This way your images will retain the most ‘information’, whcih gives you greater scope for enhancing your shots in Adobe Camera Raw and other raw-processing software.
Raw is especially beneficial when shooting night photography because it gives more flexibility when you want to change things such as colour temperature, or brighten or darken your exposures.
In our latest photography cheat sheet, we’ve seized upon these themes and created a handy flowchart that explains step-by-step how to achieve four of the more popular night photography subjects.
Our night photography cheat sheet shows you how to shoot city scenes, moonlit landscapes, low-light portraits and the ever-popular painting with light.
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